Pacific Northwest Clise Properties, of Seattle, won't renew the long-term lease for two Denny Triangle hotels, and plans to start managing...

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Pacific Northwest

Hotels

Clise Properties, of Seattle, won’t renew the long-term lease for two Denny Triangle hotels, and plans to start managing the properties itself next month, Chairman and CEO Al Clise said Thursday.

The Sixth Avenue Inn, on 6th between Virginia and Lenora streets, and the Days Inn at 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street both will be renovated, he said.

While Clise Properties owns the land, a succession of hotel operators — most recently Starwood Hotels & Resorts — has owned the buildings and run the hotels under a 49-year lease that is expiring, Clise said.

Starwood’s 87 employees at the two hotels have received layoff notices. But Clise said his company plans to employ a full staff, and that many of the workers probably would be hired back.

Clise Properties already owns and operates three hotels nearby. They are part of a portfolio of 3 million square feet of real estate that the 119-year-old, family-owned company controls in the downtown Seattle area.

Banking

Toscafund owns stake in WaMu

London hedge fund Toscafund Asset Management disclosed it owns a 6 percent stake in Washington Mutual.

Toscafund owns 105.5 million shares of the Seattle savings and loan, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its investment was part of the $7 billion cash infusion into WaMu that was led in April by TPG.

The hedge fund’s stake makes it WaMu’s second-biggest holder. TPG, a Fort Worth, Texas, buyout firm, is the biggest WaMu shareholder with a 13 percent stake.

TPG and the other WaMu investors bought shares and convertible stock for $8.75 a share, a 33 percent discount when the deal was arranged. Wamu stock closed Thursday at $5.33, up 59 cents, or 12.4 percent.

Media

Potential buyer for Maine papers

A group of Maine investors, which includes former Defense Secretary William Cohen, has signed a letter of intent to buy The Seattle Times Co.’s three daily newspapers in that state.

The Portland Press Herald reported Thursday that Maine Media Investments and The Times plan to begin negotiations soon. The sale isn’t a sure thing, a Times official cautioned.

The Times Co. put the Press Herald, (Augusta) Kennebec Journal, (Waterville) Morning Sentinel and its other Maine assets up for sale in March, saying it needed cash to help its flagship newspaper in Seattle survive an industrywide drop in advertising revenue.

The Times paid more than $200 million for the papers in 1998, but observers have said it would be lucky to sell them now for half that amount.

In addition to Cohen, a former Maine senator, other principals in Maine Media Investments include Richard Connor, editor and publisher of the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader.

Compiled from Times business staff and Bloomberg News